Volunteering for a nonprofit has many benefits both for the people you help and for your own well-being and sense of self-worth. But it also has benefits for your resume.
If there is a cause dear to you or one that you can relate to, consider volunteering. If a position is open on a specific committee where you have skills they can use, volunteer for that committee. Most nonprofits are eager for individuals willing to work on their board (the operative word here is “work”), but the commitment may be as little as two hours a month.
For the purposes of your resume, volunteering shows:
- Your willingness to support others
- Your ability to work in a team for a common goal
- Your skills; for example, social media skills if you set up the organization’s Facebook page or financial skills if you contributed to a fundraising campaign
- Your leadership, if you lead a committee or an event
- Your planning and organizational skills, if you helped develop a five-year plan or arrange a new campaign or event.
- Your ability to accomplish something important for others.
Sometimes a volunteer opportunity chooses you. I know of one individual who found herself Chair of a nonprofit’s board when no one else stepped up to the job. The sole proprietor of an IT support company attended a Chamber of Commerce meeting and was recruited there for an organization in need of IT skills. A recent college graduate searched online for organizations in need of volunteers and found himself leading a nonprofit’s marketing effort—taking on responsibilities well in advance of his newbie position at work.
Volunteering is a bonus to your resume whether you are moving up, seeking your first job or currently unemployed and looking. Robin’s Resumes® will help you describe your contribution in ways that add depth to your resume and show off your value to future employers.